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Ghana funds ten youth start-ups

Ghana has recently launched the Presidential Pitch competition; a business idea competition that aims to expand the entrepreneurial climate in the country and enable its youth come up with creative ideas that would be developed into global enterprises

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Ghana has recently launched the Presidential Pitch competition; a business idea competition that aims to expand the entrepreneurial climate in the country and enable its youth come up with creative ideas that would be developed into global enterprises.

The maiden edition of the competition is an embodiment of the Ghanaian government’s efforts to implement policies and programmes that will create and expand the frontiers of ecosystem entrepreneurship skills among Ghanaian youth.

The competition operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Business Development which oversees it. They received over 2000 Business proposals nationwide. The 20 shortlisted proposals were benchmarked, based on four thematic areas; feasibility, innovative, scalability and impact fullness. These selected 20 youth entrepreneurs, between the ages of 18 and 35 years, will be assigned mentors and attached to various businesses. The rest will remain at the Ministry’s incubator hub for further developing them into viable businesses opportunities.

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Out of the ten entrepreneurs who pitched their ideas is 19 year old Vanessa Aisha Liman, from Sissala in the Upper West Region, walked away with a cash price of USD 10, 50 on top of a personal donation of USD 5250 from the President of the Republic of Ghana. Abdul-Salam Mohammed came in as runners-up and won USD 10,000, followed closely by Ahmed Tijani who took home USD 9,386. The 7 remaining competitors taking away a cash price of USD 6,250 each.

President Akufo-Addo, who launched the Presidential Pitch on Monday, expressed his optimism and expectation that the 10 beneficiary companies would help “create jobs and employment for at least three people each.

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Mastercard Foundation launches $200 million fund to support female-centric African SMEs

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The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund (MFAGF), has announced the launching of a $200 million funding initiative for female-centric Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.

The MFAGF, in a statement on Thursday, said the funding scheme will work through African investment vehicles to support early-stage, growth-oriented SMEs on the continent, and beside providing capital for investment vehicles, “The Fund of Funds” will offer a business development facility for its portfolio companies.

The initiative, it said, will use gender lens investing principles to help advance the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, which aims to enable 30 million young people in Africa, particularly young women, to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

“The program has so far identified two investment vehicles, one in East Africa and another in West Africa to help in supporting entrepreneurial growth,” the MFAGF said.

“The Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund’s goal is to provide dignified and fulfilling work for young people, particularly young women.

“The Fund of Funds is catalytic, helping to bring in additional capital for African entrepreneurs, particularly female entrepreneurs. It strengthens and de-risks African investment funds committed to advancing gender equity in entrepreneurship.

“Mastercard has a vision of enabling 30 million young people in Africa to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030. Eligible enterprises are those owned and led by African entrepreneurs and located on the African continent are often considered high-risk,” it added.

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South African venture capital firm, 4Di Capital, announces new $25 million seed funding

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South African early-stage venture capital fund firm, 4Di Capital, has announced a new $25 million seed funding few months after the company raised $8 million funds from the South African SME Fund.

Founded in 2009, 4Di Capital principal partner, Justin Stanford, said the outfit has since then played a key role in uplifting startups across different parts of the continent with the startups reaping from its hands-on experience and approach in growing and scaling new businesses in Africa.

“Having spent the past 13 years refining our investment strategy and expanding our footprint past South Africa into the East African market and beyond, we look forward to collaborating hand-in-hand with our new partners,” Stanford said in a statement on Wednesday while announcing the funding.

The new fund which was created in partnership with DotEXe Ventures in Mauritius, Stanford said, will help 4Di Capital invest in more viable startups in Africa.

“Unlike other markets globally which have become saturated, the African market still represents an opportunity for investors.

“The investment landscape is less competitive, resulting in more favourable valuations and terms, and thus the opportunity to potentially achieve higher returns,” Stanford added.

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